The importance of business process mapping is that it provides the foundation to map, model, manage, and improve company processes in a standard graphical notation to better understand how specific goals can be achieved. Procedures and interactions are mapped to help facilitate the understanding of performance collaborations as well as business transactions between and across business units within an organization.
We work closely with your internal team as well as other key stakeholders to manage change to improve business processes. Basically our goal is to position you to minimize costs while maximizing throughput and efficiency. We determine and refine the stated requirements so that they are clear, complete and non-contradictory. The process is formally documented including Visio maps, flowcharts, user interface screens, Input-Process-Output tables, use cases, and when needed, complete functional requirement specifications.
We look at major business functions and develop business process diagrams crossing departmental boundaries to expose and inform the underlying workflow. We interview Subject Matter Experts (SME's) and document the steps and interactions to describe the business process. Tasks are identified and documented in detail using narrative-based IPO (Input-Process-Output) tables. Finally the workflow output is illustrated diagrammatically in wall-sized process flowchart diagrams. This analysis and documentation confirms an understanding of processes, identifies common features (as well as redundancies) across functional areas, defines workarounds due to system short comings, and deepens the understanding of the true business needs.
We document and catalog the required features that support operational, financial, and informational needs for all business units within the defined project scope. By interviewing the first-person participants within these business units and directly observing the processes (where necessary and feasible) we provide thorough and fully documented requirements, both automated and manual.
Once we have identified the key needs for improving work processes, the next decision is whether to purchase an existing software solution or to develop a custom system. We guide this evaluation process by providing cost/benefit analysis of existing products versus proprietary technology solutions.
If the decision is to build an in-house solution, our next step is to create a comprehensive Functional Specification that fully describes the design of the application. This includes system features and functions, visual navigation, user interaction, and information delivery environment. This is a cooperative and iterative process of brainstorming, prototyping, review, and refinement involving the entire team and key stakeholders.
If the decision is to buy an existing application (off-the-shelf or turnkey app), we identify and research potential systems and develop an evaluation and comparison tool to assess and confirm the feasibility of successful implementation. All this happens prior to product or technology acquisition. The analysis models include direct and indirect effects and give special attention to improvements in observable service quality levels.
Keys to successful implementation start in the analysis phase with key user buy-in. We work with you to develop and execute a strategy for phased implementation including test plans, user documentation, training, ongoing support, and most important, end-user involvement.
Having worked closely with both business resources and technical resources during requirements and specification development phases, we are often best positioned to help both parties prioritize decisions or find alternative solutions to problems. That's why our analysts often act as Project Managers of development or implementation phases.